Dexter Sy, a Far Eastern University of Manila Fine Arts alumnus and special lecturer, won for the first time the Grand Prize Title at the recent 2015-2016 Philippine Art Awards (PAA) last August 25 at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati.
A perennial PAA finalist since 2005, the painter finally obtained the National Winner’s trophy crafted by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. Aside from the trophy, Mr. Sy bagged the Php 350,000 cash prize, a 50” Samsung Curved UHD TV, and an all-expenses paid trip alongside the other four National Winners to an art fair in Hong Kong next year.
Mr. Sy’s winning piece, Paradise Lost, inspired by and named after John Milton’s poem represented the artist’s personal “sign of change” which was the PAA’s theme itself for this season.
Paradise Lost, depicted in mixed media, reflected the current societal and global evils people face today with Mr. Sy’s character right in the middle of it all. The painting was exhibited for three weeks in the Yuchengco museum with the other twenty winning works for Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila.
Mr. Sy has stated in an interview with Business World that his previous PAA pieces were made to be “safe” for competition. The notable difference between his past pieces and his latest one is the “fearlessness” with which he risked as an artist to exhibit his work regardless of whether or not he won the said contest.
The Philippine Art Awards 2015-2016 was organized by the Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., Inc. (PMFTC, Inc.) and supported by Samsung Electronics Philippines.